We can continue our coffee series today with Café Au Lait. This timeless French beverage has captured the hearts of coffee enthusiasts worldwide with its elegant simplicity and balanced flavor profile. Find more coffee- and espresso-based beverages in our Drinks archive.
I don’t speak French so I had to look it up and in case you are curious Café Au Lait is pronounced ka-fā-ō-lā or in my (Midwestern) mind it’s ‘caf A ooooo lay’ 🙂 And although this drink has, to me, a very fancy French name, it’s also an extremely simple coffee drink with just two ingredients.
Café Au Lait, which translates to “coffee with milk” in French, has a rich history that dates back to the vibrant café culture of Paris in the 19th century. It was a staple in the traditional French breakfast, often enjoyed alongside croissants or baguettes.
- Strong coffee
- Steamed milk
Brew a strong cup of coffee using your preferred method. While the coffee is brewing, heat the milk. You can do this with the steaming wand on an espresso machine, a milk frother, or simply in a small pot on the stovetop.
Fill your coffee mug half full with hot coffee. Then fill the rest with the steamed milk, holding back the foam or including, if you prefer (although a traditional Café Au Lait does not contain foam like a latte).
If desired, add sugar or sweetener to taste. Stir gently to incorporate.
Tips for Making
- You can use any method to make strong coffee that you prefer. Here’s how to make Chemex coffee, French Press coffee and Aeropress coffee.
- Whole or 2% milk is most common, but you can use any milk or a milk alternative, like oat milk, if you prefer.
- If you would like to sweeten this drink, you could stir in some sugar, simple syrup, or agave.
Here are some treats to go with your Café Au Lait:
- Shortbread Cookies
- Espresso Cookies
- Butter Cookies
- Eclair Cake
- One Banana – Banana Bread
- Zucchini Bread
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Café Au Lait and a latte?
A latte is espresso, steamed milk and foam. It may also contain a sweetener like vanilla syrup. A Café Au Lait is equal parts strong coffee and steamed milk.
What is stronger a Café Au Lait or a latte?
A Café Au Lait is considered stronger in (coffee) flavor than a latte since a latte has less coffee (espresso) to milk ratio than a Café Au Lait.
Café Au Lait’s timeless allure lies in its ability to blend two simple ingredients into a harmonious and satisfying beverage. Its origin in the bustling cafés of Paris adds a touch of history and culture to each cup. Santé!
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- 1 part strong coffee
- 1 part steamed milk
- Brew a strong cup of coffee using your preferred method.
- While the coffee is brewing, heat the milk.
- Fill your coffee mug half full with hot coffee.
- Then fill the rest with the steamed milk.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.